Social Organization within a Tower Complex in Southeast Utah: A Landscape Approach

Author(s): Candice Disque

Year: 2016


Through architecture, the Ancestral Pueblo people expressed their ideas and beliefs in many different ways. Towers have long been an enigmatic presence in the Southwest when role and function are in question, though focus should not be placed solely on a single explanation if one is to understand the people. Rather, interpreting the entirety of a site allows for a more holistic view into the social landscape. Ongoing research is being conducted at site 42SA4998 in the Alkali Ridge region of southeast Utah to understand the function of tower complexes with regards to social organization. By examining the architectural layout and masonry of the towers; interpreting the relationship between the towers and accompanying structures; and spatially analyzing the complex with respect to nearby sites, we begin to understand that it is not just the tower which conveys ideas, but that the complex as a whole disseminates information about social organization. Additional analysis into the function of the tower complex includes artifact density and distribution to detail site activities, and extensive survey and mapping of the site. This paper explores the multi-faceted function of tower complexes and how ideas about social organization can be extrapolated through a landscape approach.

Cite this Record

Social Organization within a Tower Complex in Southeast Utah: A Landscape Approach. Candice Disque. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405062)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;